The Yankees need some reinforcements. The team launched its way into first place and were 10 games over .500 at the end of May. Then, in the month of June, everything that could fall apart, did fall apart. Everything except for Aaron Judge, who has been the one constant all year long. The rotation has held up over the last month-plus, but injuries have devastated several key positions around the field and the bullpen has been atrocious. The New York Mets could help them with both.
It’s been all down hill for the Mets since their 90-72 2015 season that brought them all the way to the World Series. Powered by a young corps of healthy and lively arms, the Mets looked like they would finally be competitors for years to come. Then injury hit in 2016, but they still made the playoffs. In 2017, the team has been a complete disaster and now they sit 10.5 games out of first place with several of their starters hitting the DL.
Regardless of their struggles, the team isn’t going to be trading off their starters anytime soon. The guys that have been effective are cost controlled for the foreseeable future, and the guys who have struggled are either hurt or have been so bad the Yankees wouldn’t even want them. However, there are a few other options to look at.
Lucas Duda is in the middle of a great offensive season that would probably receive more attention if everything around him wasn’t on fire. He’s hitting .238/.351/.524 with 14 home runs, which makes him more or less what the Yankees thought they could get out of Chris Carter this year. His glove is far more passable at first base than Carter’s was on his best day and it would immediately improve the position.
Duda would also not block a potential return for Greg Bird because the team needs a DH too. If Matt Holliday remains out, Duda would be able to fit in at two different positions. Plus, he’s a left-handed hitter, so you know he’s going to enjoy that right field porch. If the Yankees take on a major portion of what is left of Duda’s $7.2 million deal, they can avoid giving away a piece they will regret trading (something Cashman would never do). If the Yankees want to stay in the playoff race, Duda can help.
The Mets also have a pair of relievers who could really help in the Bronx. The team’s closer Addison Reed is a pending free agent and could probably be had for a relatively reasonable deal. His 2.53 ERA and 3.01 FIP in 42.2 innings would immediately make him one of the team’s best relievers. His 14 saves would even make him the leader on the team.
More importantly, his 9.1 K/9 and 1.1 BB/9 make Reed an intriguing candidate to serve as a fireman who can pitch whenever the team needs him most. The only blemish on his stat line is a 1.1 HR/9, which is unlikely to fair well in Yankee Stadium. It isn’t going to be a perfect fit, but he will definitely improve a bullpen that can’t seem to hold a lead these days.
The last piece the Yankees could use from the Mets is left-handed reliever Jerry Blevins. Overall, his numbers aren’t the most impressive, but if you break down what he has done against left-handed hitters, he would be an outstanding addition to the bullpen. The team’s left-handed option fell apart early when Tommy Layne struggled out of the gate. Meanwhile, Blevins has kept lefties to a .167/.221/.181 batting line.
The Yankees have been forced to rely on Chasen Shreve and other lefties in the meantime, but this is a chance to add a stable to the mix. Blevins wouldn’t just be a helpful piece this season, he would also be around in 2018 at $7 million. If the Yankees could get the Mets to pay off some of that money, Blevins wouldn’t be too bad of an addition. They just have to use him correctly.
The Yankees and the Mets aren’t the perfect trade partners. Considering their “rivalry” they are very unlikely to even entertain any significant deal. Still, it could certainly work considering each team’s situation.